Adventurer of the Week: Sonia hikes through the Icelandic Highlands

03. August 2017
Shape Sonia Gilderdale
This time, our Adventurer of the Week comes from Australia! Sonia and her sister had a fantastic adventure on Laugavegur: crossing rivers, enjoying the good company, the food and the breathtaking nature!

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

My son had told me about the beautiful landscape and that motivated me to visit Iceland. I really wanted to hike in a different kind of landscape.

Shape Sonia Gilderdale

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

I was in Iceland for one week. My sister did the hike as well, and I met her in Reykjavík. First, I signed on for the hike and she liked the idea a lot, so she joined me. I would have loved to stay longer to explore more of Iceland and I hope to come one day again.

Shape Sonia Gilderdale

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

I took the Laugavegur Trek (IMG 31) because it looked really interesting and I wanted to do something manageable.

And it was truly amazing! We were quite lucky with the weather. It sometimes rained but there was no strong wind or persistent heavy rains and on the last day in Þórsmörk, we had beautiful weather. The river crossings were quite an experience and I was very conscious because the water was so cold. I was happy to cling on to Kristin, our guide.

It was a great trip and Kristin was a terrific guide, we had a very good time, the food was good and everything was beyond my expectation!

Go hiking – experience the true wilderness of Iceland which you can not see on the Ring road.

Sonia Gilderdale

What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?

The variety of the scenery, and the differences as we progressed from the beginning to the end: We first had snow, then we hiked through the volcanic ash and in the end through the forest.

I first have not actually thought very much what the landscape would be like. But it was amazing, there was so much contrast. I liked all of the landscapes, because they were all so different. There was more snow than I expected in the beginning of the tour and it was very difficult to walk in it.

The tour was really fantastic!

Shape Sonia Gilderdale

If you had to describe your experience in one sentence, what would you say?

An inspiring 5 days with great organization, good company and amazing scenery.

What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?

The people were all very helpful and friendly and happy to give their personal perspectives on Iceland’s history and heritage.

If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?

I would like to explore more of Iceland, especially in the East and North. A manageable hiking tour there would also be great.

What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?

Go hiking – experience the true wilderness of Iceland which you can not see on the Ring road. You have to go out hiking to see all the fantastic landscapes of the highland.

Shape Sonia Gilderdale

What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure?

Next I am off to a three day hiking tour in Tasmania, an island in the south of Australia. Very different to Iceland, it has dramatic coastal scenery with very high cliffs. Only the variability of weather might be similar.

About the Author

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.

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